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IGP Akuffo Dampare’s Fidelity To Law

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Ghana’s Constitution, the supreme law of the land, forbids discriminatory treatment on grounds including a person’s social standing. It reinforces this by its adoption of one of the major ideals of a democracy – the equality before the law principle.

The truth is, this is how we build a happy, prosperous and enduring democratic society. If only a few privileged class of politicians, powerful, rich and influential enjoy the benefits of this democracy, it will not survive.

It will collapse. Ignoring such ideals breed lawlessness and embolden and compel people to resort to protests and violence in near justifiable extra-judicial efforts to assert their rights to equal treatments where the established order deprives them the basic decency and human dignity. Speaking at the just-ended Ghana Bar Association’s annual conference in Bolgatanga, National Security Coordinator Major General Francis Adu-Amanfoh rightly observed that a country whose masses have lost confidence in the justice system and are not assured of a fair trial is a “ticking time bomb waiting to explode.”

He stressed that “such conditions create a vulnerable population that can be manipulated to revolt against the established order, and provides a veritable justification for the masses to take the law into their own hands and act in ways that threaten the security of the state.”

Many mothers in cells and prisons watched this many join celebrities to lambast the court for handing Akuapem Poloo far less than a quarter of the punishment the law dictates for her conduct against the welfare of her child, prompting police to prosecute her. You campaigned for her release and that may have influenced the decision of the appellate court to grant her bail pending determination of her appeal against the rather lenient sentence.

Many mothers even more responsible are serving even longer terms for lesser offences but they are not “celebrities” so you won’t campaign for non-custodial sentences for them or for their release in the name of being mothers. And like that case, your public stance in denouncing her despicable conduct when it became public, partly Informed the trial court’s decision not to sentence her only to a fine when she pleaded guilty.

You have condemned many of the charlatans in cassock overtime only to turn to blame this IGP, the police and the trial court for doing the right thing in arresting Rev. Isaac Owusu Bempah to face the law just like any ordinary citizen would have been subjected to and probably in the most embarrassing fashion.

I don’t know what your motivation is, but I know those who know better and mean well for this country are gladdened by the action that sends the right signals to all that those who break the law will not be spared regardless of who they are or think themselves in society.

Sunday, in Bolga and ahead of the GBA conference, I had the privilege of a conversation with very senior lawyers some of whom are senior police officers and they were rightly very concerned about very disturbing recent acts that breed lawlessness and impunity.

The recent public boast by a man on TV that he had killed many people for money rituals and the conduct of Owusu Bempah and his associates engaged us, and all were unanimous that if police did not act fast on those two public confessions and conduct of crimes, the negative effects on security and law enforcement will be serious.

I admit that at the time of this conversation, I was not aware police had already acted on those two. I was overjoyed learning about the arrests the next day. In fact, a casual examination of the conduct of Owusu Bempah and his associates will reveal they should be standing trial for more than the two charges of offensive conduct conducive to breach of peace and threat of death.

IGP Dr George Akuffo Dampare has started right and well and deserves the support of all to keep this country from sliding to fail in law enforcement and our collective security and protection.

Ignore the ignorant commentaries that the trial court did anything wrong refusing Owusu Bempah bail. Yes, all offences are amenable to bail, thanks to Martin Kpebu, but bail has and will never be at large, and judges have judicial discretion to exercise in deciding to grant or refuse bail taking all the facts of a particular case into consideration.

The impudence of the ignorant commentators is embarrassing as it betrays, in most instances, a deliberate ploy to influence gullible people and poison the minds of their many legal illiterate audiences against the IGP and the trial court.

If you have a genuine love for the country, support IGP Akuffo Dampare to actively swiftly resort to due process in a manner that secures our collective good, and allows suspects such access as Owusu Bempah was afforded leading to grant of bail by the High Court.

It takes people like IGP Akuffo Dampare who appear naturally predisposed to conduct in fidelity to the rule of law and compliance with good governance and democracy to brave the odds regardless of the stakes for God and Country. The least we can do is to rally maximum support for him to check and stop the growing lawlessness and impunity, insecurity and real threat to good order.

Source: Samson Lardy ANYENINI

 

Editor’s Note: Samson Lardy ANYENINI is a Ghanaian lawyer and journalist who works for Multimedia Ghana’s Joy Fm. He hosts Joynews and Joy FM’s weekend current affairs news analysis Newsfile programme. He won the category of Best Journalist for 2019 GIJ Annual Awards.

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